One of the most exceptionally wonderful experiences of my life was attending the Landmark Forum. When I say it changed my life forever, I mean it, and I do not say so lightly. I was so enthusiastic about my experience that I could not have resisted writing about it here had I wanted to.
So I find it very interesting, and also very disheartening every time I check my statistics to see what keywords people are using to find my site. Many people search for Landmark Forum and end up here, but it’s never people looking to discover how great Landmark Forum is, or why their friends are so happy and eager to tell them about it. No. People search for things like the following:
- landmark forum scam
- landmark forum sales pressure
- landmark forum cult
- landmark forum brainwashing
- landmark forum recruitment
Not a single keyword string that I would term positive ever brings people to my site, except for perhaps when they search for “landmark forum” on it’s own. In that case it’s not possible to know the intent of the searcher. (Incidentally, my favourite is “landmark forum recruitment”. What do you suppose you’re being recruited for? It’s not a secret society, it’s a bloody three-day personal development course.)
What drives people to go to such lengths to prove their own misgivings?
I think I have the answer: they themselves are not trustworthy people.
I believe that we all view life, and the people we encounter in it as a reflection or out own life, and of ourselves. Those who are naturally trusting are so because they themselves are worthy of trust. Those who see everything through a lens of a suspicion, are likely people we would be wise to be suspicious of. People who have nothing to hide usually do not imagine that others are hiding anything (sometimes to their own detriment). Likewise, those with more than a few skeletons in their closet, become convinced, usually irrationally that everyone is out to get them.
One in every eleven people shoplifts on a regular basis. Think about that. One in eleven! That means that every person in the country is guaranteed to know at least once thief, and probably two or more. Many of us will even have a good friend who steals. Among kids, it even higher, more than one out of every two kids says they know a shoplifter, and hang around them. Now what are the odds that these shoplifting types are the same people who sit around complaining about how the world it out to get them, the government is robbing them of their pay cheque, or that that dirty telemarketer was trying to rip them off. My guess is pretty high.
Untrustworthy fear being found out.
This is the truth. The lack of trust untrustworthy people have in others is the direct side effect of them over-compensating for their own knowledge of how untrustworthy they are. They simply MUST view everyone else as untrustworthy to justify their own untrustworthy nature.
If a trustworthy person is inadvertently short-changed by a cashier, she is liable to shrug it off and move on (unless it’s a large amount that she is really going to miss).
An untrustworthy person, however, will likely cause a fuss, he might even flip out at the cashier, accuse her of trying to cheat him, all the while slipping out of the store with a couple of packs of gum in his pocket. He’ll then justify it to himself, tell himself it’s okay because the store rips people off all the time anyway.
Speaking of Wal-Mart…
Years ago I heard about an extreme example of this sort of behaviour.
As you may know, I am not a fan of Wal-Mart. I think the effect they have had on the world is nothing short of tragic. But that doesn’t mean I think it’s okay to steal from them.